Using internet banking to manage personal finances

The internet has revolutionized the way we transact business today. We can now shop for almost anything we want, communicate with clients all over the world and make digital financial transactions among other things.

One of the advantages to having an internet connection is the option to do online banking. Although enhanced services may vary from bank to bank, customers can generally check their real-time balances, transfer funds and pay bills online.

With online bill pay services, bank clients are granted the convenience of simply keying a bill payment online in the comfort of their home or office. The online system takes care of transmitting financial information to the bank, and eventually, the vendor. For household utilities, loans and other payments that are billed monthly, bank account holders can even arrange for automatic payment transfers.

There are also various internet payment services that can be used as alternatives to online banking. Sites like PayPal and AlertPay, which are also popular with online shoppers, maintain that members can feel more secure because personal and other sensitive information are handled using advanced security technology. This, they say, allows clients to withhold credit card details when paying.

Some reminders on online bill payments:

  • Although paying bills via the internet is more convenient, it sometimes takes several days before a payment is posted. So make sure that you pay earlier than your merchants’ cut-off dates. Plan payments in advance to avoid penalties.
  • Never forget to print out confirmation emails with the transaction number, date and time in case of disputes when you’ll need proof of payment.
  • Read the fine print. Find out if there are extra fees you need to shell out for using online bill pay services and how much they are.
  • Keep your personal information updated to avoid being a victim of fraud. Notify your bank and your internet payment service provider when you move houses or if there are changes in your contact numbers as well as your email address.
  • Never share your usernames and passwords with anyone. Memorize them if you can, but if you need to write them down, remember to keep the details in a secure place.

Making use of online bill payment reduces the need to write checks, send bills in the mail and waste fuel when going to the merchant’s establishment or to pay for envelopes. Practicing safe banking is as much of a necessity in the online world as it is in the offline world, so be sure to bank with safe financial institutions over secure websites.